User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 203-259

First online:

Information Filtering: Overview of Issues, Research and Systems

  • Uri HananiAffiliated withDepartment of Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University
  • , Bracha ShapiraAffiliated withDepartment of Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University
  • , Peretz ShovalAffiliated withDepartment of Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University Email author 

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An abundant amount of information is created and delivered over electronic media. Users risk becoming overwhelmed by the flow of information, and they lack adequate tools to help them manage the situation. Information filtering (IF) is one of the methods that is rapidly evolving to manage large information flows. The aim of IF is to expose users to only information that is relevant to them. Many IF systems have been developed in recent years for various application domains. Some examples of filtering applications are: filters for search results on the internet that are employed in the Internet software, personal e-mail filters based on personal profiles, listservers or newsgroups filters for groups or individuals, browser filters that block non-valuable information, filters designed to give children access them only to suitable pages, filters for e-commerce applications that address products and promotions to potential customers only, and many more. The different systems use various methods, concepts, and techniques from diverse research areas like: Information Retrieval, Artificial Intelligence, or Behavioral Science. Various systems cover different scope, have divergent functionality, and various platforms. There are many systems of widely varying philosophies, but all share the goal of automatically directing the most valuable information to users in accordance with their User Model, and of helping them use their limited reading time most optimally. This paper clarifies the difference between IF systems and related systems, such as information retrieval (IR) systems, or Extraction systems. The paper defines a framework to classify IF systems according to several parameters, and illustrates the approach with commercial and academic systems. The paper describes the underlying concepts of IF systems and the techniques that are used to implement them. It discusses methods and measurements that are used for evaluation of IF systems and limitations of the current systems. In the conclusion we present research issues in the Information Filtering research arena, such as user modeling, evaluation standardization and integration with digital libraries and Web repositories.

evaluation methods information filtering information retrieval learning measurement user modeling user profile